Taranaki’s Surf Highway 45 will have a wave waiting for you. Whether you’re a seasoned wave-hunter or just getting started, there's a wave for you.
Surf Highway 45
Surf Highway 45, the 105km coastal route around Taranaki’s coast, connects New Plymouth in the north to Hāwera in the south. Between these centres are dozens of surf breaks, beaches, points of historic and cultural interest, scenic spots, and cafes in vibrant and welcoming villages.
A journey along the Surf Highway traces the route of generations of surfers, but as you’ll find out, it offers much more than just surf. The highway weaves through a number of Taranaki’s stories – the surf, the landscape, the rich history, and the creativity, all the while under the watchful gaze of Taranaki Maunga.
The Perfect Wave
The surf coast that gives the highway its name leads to dozens of surf breaks. Almost every road that heads off the highway towards the coast leads to a wave - from gentle sandy beach breaks to waves peeling along rocky points.
Surf spots like Stent Road, the Kumara Patch, Fitzroy Beach, Mangahume, and Arawhata Road have become legendary in New Zealand surfing over the decades, while Kina Road is synonymous with wave sailing and East End Beach is becoming known as a kite surfing destination.
The region’s surf shops are integral to the story of surfing in Taranaki, and provide everything from custom boards hand-crafted for local conditions, great coffee, expert advice and hire boards and wetsuits. There are shops strategically located all around the coast.
More than Surf
Sheltered beaches between the surf breaks offer a safe and often secluded place to swim or sunbathe. Fitzroy, East End, Oakura, and Ōpunake beaches are popular with surf lifesaving patrols over summer, while Ngāmotu Beach and Kaupokonui Beach near Manaia offer sheltered swimming spots, great for kids.
Surf Highway 45 offers a lot more than great waves. From the cafes that offer both a cozy respite from the coast and local delicacies to replenish those on the dawn patrol to craft shops, arts trails, interwoven with an incredibly rich history this great scenic drive is worth the journey even if you're not inclined to wax up and paddle out.